Wolf Parade / Plants & Animals La Sala Rossa, Montreal QC August 27

Was it really just that infamous Spin article or the glut of "wolf” related names that caused the backlash against Wolf Parade? Whatever it was, there was a sense in this city anyway — one that runs contrary to the actual quality of their debut — that people wanted the follow-up to fail. Though Plants & Animals, fresh from a mini-tour with the group, warmed the crowd up with their entirely appropriate, sweaty, shamanistic rock ravings, the crowd was clearly there for the Parade. Whereas Arcade Fire’s hometown run was a spectacle, this was a rock show that showcased the new album with a couple know-all-the-words old favourites. Kicking off with a start-stop keyboard and guitar battle of a song that soared and sucker-punched, it created a palpable "the new songs are good” feeling in the packed-to-the-gills Sala Rossa crowd, and illustrated they’ve got some longevity in them. "Language City” was a highlight, probably one of the new hits, and seemed to illustrate that perhaps that Spencer Krug/Dan Boeckner divide has been closed somewhat, to the clear benefit of the band and the songs. (Though, perhaps making fun of this, perhaps not, there were a couple catty exchanges: before the funky and unfortunately named "Fine Young Cannibals,” Boeckner declared it his favourite song, to which Krug added, "It’s not mine.”). Dante Decaro also seems to have been worked into the proceedings much more than before, sharing lead vocals at a couple points. In all honesty, things sounded so great, I stopped taking notes and pestering people for song titles and enjoyed the great rock band Wolf Parade are becoming.